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China’s SAMR sets up incident report system for NEVs following high profile NEV accidents in recent months

August 3, 2022 2:11 am

On August 1, China’s SAMR(State Administration of Market Regulation) announced it has established an incident report system and a collaborative network for the investigation of new energy vehicle accidents, according to Li Changqing, an official with SAMR who spoke at an industry conference.

The system consists of four parts. Firstly, it will correct and refine regulations regarding the recalling process, broaden the scope of recalled products from automobiles to all motor vehicles, and introduce mechanisms such as safety self-assessment and major accident reporting.

Secondly, the system will actively explore implementing a safety sandbox for automotive. According to Li, officials are currently joining hands with experts to draft 14 procedural documents on the mechanism.

Thirdly, the SAMR aims to establish a standardized big data empowered system based on safety incidents and recall cases, which will incorporate a closed-loop mechanism for product recall and product safety standards synergy and promote the strengthening of technical infrastructure and construction innovation.

Fourthly, the overall system comes down to constructing a pluralistic safety management landscape, which will promote the high-quality development of the industry.

The establishment of the incident report system comes after several NEV-related incidents consecutively took place in China. On June 22, a test vehicle of Nio’s ET7 crashed inside the company’s compound and killed two Nio employees. On July 8, a Tesla Model Y crashed in Chongqing, killing two and injuring four passers-by. Two weeks later, Jimmy Lin, a famous singer, and tech enthusiast, encountered an accident while driving his Tesla Model X. Both Lin and his son were injured as the vehicle caught on fire after it crashed.

The string of events has led consumers to question the safety performance and robustness of new energy vehicles, since many of the currently popular NEV makers such as Tesla, Nio, XPeng, and Li Auto have relatively short histories in terms of car manufacturing, compared with traditional car companies which often have decades or even hundreds of years of experiences in the industry.

On a separate note, Nio, XPeng, and Li Auto, the big three NEV makers in China, have all reported decreases in their sales in July compared to May and June. In July, Nio delivered 10,052 units, which is down 22% compared to June. Li Auto delivered 10,422 units in July, down 20% from June, while XPeng delivered 11,524 units in July, down 24.7% from June.

According to an estimate by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), the overall sales of NEVs in China could have fallen to 450,000 units in July, down 15%.